Wisconsin lawmakers flee state to block sweeping anti-union bill, say they want to negotiate
Scott Bauer/AP

MADISON, Wis. — A group of Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers blocked passage of a sweeping anti-union bill Thursday, refusing to show up for a vote and then abruptly leaving the state in an effort to force Republicans to the negotiating table.

As ever-growing throngs of protesters filled the Capitol for a third day, the 14 Democrats disappeared around noon, just as the Senate was about to begin debating the measure, which would eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees.

They were not in their offices, and aides said they did not know where any of them had gone. Hours later, one member of the group told The Associated Press that they had all left Wisconsin.

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